The Right Kind of Self-Love

So Rachel, you confident girl, while you are off in Wales doing your amazing internship, I have been reading quotes such as these all over the social media world.

Remember to love yourself first. The hardest thing to do is to learn to love yourself. Self-love is the greatest medicine.  

After seeing many selfies on Instagram with the captions of ‘loving yourself’, I am beginning to get bored.  Why? Humans naturally love themselves (introducing the argument for today). The common view is that it’s a healthy thing to love yourself, hence the existence of these motivational quotes and selfies. I naturally love myself. I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is to lumber downstairs to get my cup of coffee. I always drink coffee in the morning because it is warm, comforting, and wakes me up. I have to get out of my warm bed therefore I deserve it. The very thought of ‘I deserve it’ suggests that I love myself.

This is when one of you excellent readers will point out that everyone doesn’t love themselves. Some people hate themselves and struggle with loving the way they look and/or loving the person they are. That’s why people will struggle with depression or cutting or eating disorders for example. The popular idea is that people need to love themselves more in order to help them to get better. However that isn’t necessarily always helpful. The emphasis and preoccupation of self did not help me get over depression but made it worse. I was too lost and my mind too twisted to just magically try to ‘love myself’ (which is a horribly vague term anyways). The opposite of that, focusing on others and Jesus, helped me.

Yet recently I told my friend whose struggling to ‘remember to love yourself a little.’ So does that make me some sort of hypocrite?

While I do not like the constant cry  for self-love, I don’t think that we are meant to neglect ourselves. The Bible says at the very beginning God made man and woman and put them over charge over Creation. When God said creation, he meant the things He created, the animals, birds, environment, each other and themselves. We are supposed to take care of ourselves. We are meant to respect and put the right kind of value on our body and the body that God created. We shouldn’t think that neglecting ourselves is good and healthy or that taking care of ourselves is selfish and sinful. Therefore when I tell my friends the rare sentence, ‘remember to love yourself a little’, it is me trying to remind them to take care and to remember that they, body and soul, have value to humanity and to me.

So I guess what I don’t like is the emphasis on self as the perfect and most important being around. We need to have the right kind of self-love, the right kind of view of ourselves. We are painfully flawed, prideful, and frankly stupid creatures. However, this is equally important. You are of immeasurable value. You are loved. You are important. Don’t forget that.



and yes, EU omg!

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